JULY 2010

Theodore B. Moore, M.D.

UCLA Cancer Specialist Discusses Latest Technologies with Turkish Colleagues

UCLA pediatric hematologist and oncologist Theodore B. Moore, M.D., updated pediatric cancer specialists in Turkey about the latest clinical techniques related to bone marrow, stem cell and cord blood transplantation during an educational outreach trip in May to Turkish medical institutions in Ankara, Samsun and Istanbul, at the invitation of the Turkish Pediatric Oncology Group. The Nejat International Childhood Cancer Research Society (NICCRS) was instrumental in arranging the invitation and sponsored the trip as part of its mission to support research into childhood cancer causes and treatments and to engage in international outreach efforts that disseminate the latest scientific knowledge to pediatric oncologists around the world.

“As we share our knowledge and our colleagues share their knowledge, we build relationships that transcend international barriers,” says Dr. Moore, clinical director of the Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA and director of the Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant Program at UCLA. “These types of activities ultimately serve a common purpose, which is to bring the best possible care to children affected by cancer no matter where they live.”

Dr. Moore’s visit to Turkey represented the first international visit by an American physician sponsored by the NICCRS, but the organization has sponsored two previous trips for Turkish physicians to train with pediatric oncologists at UCLA and plans to sponsor additional visits as opportunities arise.

Nejat Munisoglu Jr.

The NICCRS was founded by Elizabeth and Nejat Munisoglu, the parents of Nejat Munisoglu, Jr., who was diagnosed with rhabdomysarcoma at the age of 14 and treated at UCLA. Although the rare cancer eventually caused their son’s death, the family felt he received excellent care.

“Our son was diagnosed quickly and received state-of-the-art treatment for that time, but we recognize that not all patients and families affected by childhood cancers have that advantage — particularly if they live in a rural part of the world,” explains Elizabeth Munisoglu. “We believe our efforts will be critical in supporting these patients, their families and physicians.”

Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among U.S. children 1 to 14 years of age, according to the National Cancer Institute, but earlier detection and improved therapies have led to significant improvements in the five-year relative survival rate during the past 25 years.

“In our world, there are many influences for change,” says Dr. Moore. “If we build relationships in a humble way and we are willing to learn as well as teach, we are well-received in the international community. This contributes to improved cancer survival rates not only in the U.S., but also across the globe.”

More information about the activities of the Nejat International Childhood Cancer Research Society is available at www.niccrs.org.